Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tree Nursery next to Saratoga Spa State Park under the gun again!

The Saratoga Tree Nursery could find its staff cut nearly in half as lawmakers look to close a gaping budget gap by paring the state workforce.

The nursery, run by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, is a perennial punching bag when it comes time to cut the state budget; state officials have on more than one occasion suggested closing it outright.

Now, in the face of a gaping budget deficit, state leaders say they need to cut 900 workers, including 140 staff members at the DEC, to help control costs. A list of positions targeted for elimination, obtained by the Adirondack Daily Enterprise, includes four laborers from the Saratoga region due to be fired by Dec. 31.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Saratoga is hopping. Victorian Streetwalk on Thursday, 12/2/10. Restaurant Week starts Friday, 12/3-12/9.

Celebrate the magic of an old-fashioned Victorian Streetwalk and Christmas in Saratoga Springs on Thursday, December 2,2010.

Downtown Saratoga closes to traffic and all of Broadway is blanketed in Victorian holiday magic each year the Thursday after Thanksgiving for the annual Saratoga Springs Victorian Streetwalk. Witness the fun this year as the Spa City is transformed into a Victorian winter wonderland on December 2nd, from 6-10 pm.

There will be all types of entertainers working the crowds at the Victorian Streetwalk in downtown Saratoga Springs. Musicians, singers, magicians, and other performances will delight young and old alike. Santa will welcome visits from children at his very special cottage outside 435 Broadway, then kids can get up close and personal with his real-life team of reindeer right down the street! Free hot beverages and treats will be served at numerous locations around downtown.

Carolers will stroll the sidewalks dressed in elegant period costumes, gaily colored hats and scarves, delighting listeners with music and song.

Saratoga Restaurant Week

Saratoga Restaurant Week

3 Course Menus For Just $18.19!

Participating local restaurants offer 3-course dinner specials for just $18.19 during Saratoga County Restaurant Week
SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY — Enjoy the 6th Annual Saratoga Restaurant Week from December 3 - 9, 2010.

Get a 3-Course dinner for just $18.19 at participating Saratoga County restaurants during Saratoga Restaurant Week! Start off with your choice of an appetizer or salad, then choose from a menu of sumptuous entrees, and top it off with a decadent dessert! All for just $18.19!

Plus some participating restaurants are offering lunch specials for just $9.09. Saratoga Restaurant Week is the perfect time to get out and try new restaurants in the Spa City!

And we're giving away the chance to win gift a Saratoga Restaurant Week Prize Pack! Find out the details and enter to win here!

Reservations are strongly suggested during Saratoga Restaurant Week and can be made by calling the restaurant of your choice.

2010 Participating Restaurants:

Both Dinner & Lunch:

Circus Cafe :: (518) 583-1106

Gaffney's Restaurant :: (518) 587-7359

Grey Gelding :: (518) 584-0957

Jacob & Anthony's American Grille :: (518) 871-1600

Karavalli Regional Cuisine of India :: (518) 580-1144

Lillian's Restaurant :: (518) 587-7766

Local Pub & Teahouse :: (5180 587-7256

Maestro's Restaurant :: (518) 580-0312

Max London's Restaurant & Bar :: (518) 587-3535

Pacific Grill :: (518) 583-0008

Phila Fusion :: (518) 226-0400

Putnam's at the Gideon Putnam Resort :: (518) 584-3000

Ravenous :: (518) 581-0560

Scallions Restaurant :: (518) 584-0192

Sushi Thai Garden Restaurant :: (518) 580-0900

Wheatfields Bistro & Wine Bar Clifton Park :: (518) 383-4444

Wheatfields Restaurant & Bar :: (518) 587-0534

$18.19 Dinner Only:

Bookmaker's at Holiday Inn :: (518) 584-4550

Brindisi's Restaurant & Bar :: (518) 587-6262

Catina :: (518) 587-5577

Chianti II Ristorante :: (518) 580-0025

Dine :: (518) 587-9463

End Zone Sports Pub :: (518) 584-6460

Forno Bistro :: (518) 581-2401

Fortunes at Saratoga Gaming and Raceway :: (518) 584-2110

Hattie's Restaurant :: (518) 584-4790

Horseshoe Inn Bar & Gill :: (518) 587-4909

Irish Times Pub & Restaurant :: (518) 583-0003

Limoncello Ristorante :: (518) 580-8700

Longfellows Restaurant :: (518) 587-0108

Mexican Connection :: (518) 584-4466

Mouzon House :: (518) 226-0014

Olde Bryan Inn :: (518) 587-2990

One Caroline Street Bistro :: (518) 587-2026

Pasta Pane :: (518) 371-5762

Prime at Saratoga National Golf Club :: (518) 583-4653

Primo's at The Inn at Saratoga :: (518) 583-1890

Sabina's Wood Fired Restaurant :: (518) 583-3333

Sperry's Restaurant :: (518) 584-9618

Springwater Inn :: (518) 584-5051

Tiznow Restaurant :: (518) 226-0655

Wishing Well Restaurant :: (518) 584-7640

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Dr. Hoge pictured here was a very handsome lifeguard early on at Victoria Pool which opened 7/26/35.

Go to Saratogian.com to read about Dr. Hoge today at 95, a proud WWII veteran and Saratoga icon.

At 95, World War II veteran thankful to be an American: D-Day survivor part of a group of multi-generational veterans with video
Published: Thursday, November 25, 2010

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Dr. Hoge holds a picture of his late wife, Sheila, which he keeps in his wallet. The two were married for 43 years. “Strong, stalwart, gentle. “She was a great gal, a real straight shooter.” Hoge recalled. “On June 1, 1946 we got married at my parents’ house on Church Street in Saratoga.” (ED BURKE, The Saratogian)

A multi-generational group of U.S. veterans meets regularly at Saratoga-Wilton Elks Club for camaraderie and storytelling. Seated, left to right, are World War II veterans Myron Bazar, Dr. Leo Hoge and Philip Myers. In back, left to right, are Ken Tubbs, Joe Lohman and Bill Pettigrew. (PAUL POST, The Saratogian)
By PAUL POST, The Saratogian

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Dr. Leo Hoge talks about serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II at a luncheon at the Olde Bryan Inn honoring his 95th birthday. (ED BURKE, The Saratogian)

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Counting his blessings comes easy to Dr. Leo Hoge, who survived D-Day and extensive action in the Pacific during World War II.

Above all else, however, the U.S. Navy veteran is most thankful to be an American.

Hoge, who celebrated his 95th birthday on Tuesday, is part of small group of veterans that meets each Thursday morning at the Saratoga-Wilton Elks Club to swap stories and simply enjoy each others’ company. With amazing clarity, he recalls D-Day — June 6, 1944 — like it was yesterday.

"Five-thirty in the morning the sun was just coming up," he said. "We would take guys in to hit the beach, Omaha Beach. Then we came back to pick up casualties. When we got them stabilized we’d take them back to Engl

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Lake George Opera Changes its name to Opera Saratoga.

Lake George Opera has changed its name to Opera Saratoga for its 50th anniversary in 2011. Opera Saratoga performs brilliantly at the Little Theater located in Saratoga Spa State Park.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Community Media Lab comes to Saratoga !!!

[Pictured: Barbara Lombardo, managing editor of the Saratogian Newspaper and a fellow staffer]

Louise and Andrew attended the first of the "Community Media Lab" presentations:

The Saratogian Newspaper Website gives the following description: 'Community Media Lab, an informal partnership between local bloggers and The Saratogian".
We attended this evenings presentation at the Saratogian's own downtown newsroom. We had a tour of the "city desk" and saw the staff preparing the upcoming days news, page by page in real time. As bloggers, this was very exciting to see another media outlet in action.
The Community Media Lab is an idea to open doors in the community, giving a stronger voice to readers in this digital-first world.
To see the complete article please go to: http://www.saratogian.com/medialab/

Special thanks to Saratogian's Managing Editor, Barbara Lombardo for her kindness and for inviting us to this event. To contact Barbara at the Saratogian, please call 583-8711 or email blombardo@journalregister.com.

A birthday rose for Marylou.

Saratoga Seen
Your insiders’ source for what’s happening around Saratoga County.
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A rose named Marylou
November 17, 2010 at 4:19 pm by Leigh Hornbeck
Imagine trying to buy a gift for Marylou Whitney. Her husband, John Hendrickson, faces the challenge every year. In years’ past he’s given her jewelry. This year for her birthday he hit upon the best gift yet – the one that brought her to tears, he said. He bought the naming rights to a long-stemmed, pink tea rose. Marylou will celebrate her 85th birthday on Christmas Eve. The first Marylou Whitney rosebushes will be planted at Cady Hill in the spring.
I spoke to John and Marylou from Kentucky today. Marylou said she always secretly wanted a rose named for her, but never told her husband.
“John is magic,” she said. “Somehow, he knew.”
See a full story in tomorrow’s TU.

Monday, November 15, 2010

NYS Parks in great need of help, Times Union, Fred LeBrun.

Our state parks need a better plan for survival than the careening crisis management the Paterson administration gave us this year.
Never again should we have to wonder from one week to the next whether Thacher Park will open for the season, or Grafton, or any of the other 176 parks in the state system. Of all the fallout we experienced from the draconian cuts to state agencies this year, none was felt more personally by the public than the threat to the parks. The scream of horror and anger was loud enough for even the politically tone-deaf Paterson group to get the message.
So we dodged the bullet. But how often can we expect a similar result? My guess is with a new administration facing overwhelming demand for continually decreasing state revenues, that would be zero. As bad as funding for many state services proved to be this year, it's only going to be worse next year, and the year after that.
Yet, there are two encouraging signs for park advocates.
The first is to be found in Gov.-elect Andrew Cuomo's mostly vague policy book on the environment. He clearly recognizes that parks, particularly upstate and on Long Island, are mini economic engines spread out across our geography, generating, according to advocates, $5 for every $1 invested. And they are recreational destinations that carry local identification and pride. Cuomo pledges he "will work to ensure that they (parks) stay open for the benefit of all New Yorkers." His support matters.
In the same policy book, he says we need something new: innovative public-private partnerships to bring in more money to offset dwindling state revenues. He mentions a Brooklyn fundraising alliance as a model.
As if answering the call last week, enter the perfectly timed Alliance for New York State Parks, under the considerable auspices of the Open Space Institute, to advocate for state parks and historic places, and raise funds for them.
The deep-pocketed Open Space Institute is a nonprofit that already has bought and protected largely for public use 100,000 acres in New York, including 75,000 currently in parklands.
It has ties to a phenomenal donor base. At the announcement of the alliance formation at OSI's New York City office, for instance, members of the Rockefeller, Harriman and Roosevelt families were on hand to express support. The alliance raised $2 million in the first week against the $10 million it wants to get started.
Carol Ash, the vibrant and hugely capable recently departed commissioner of the Office of State Parks, Recreation and Historic Places, will be deeply involved over the next year, although a former deputy parks commissioner, Erik Kulleseid, will be the alliance's director.
No one knows better than Ash how badly mangled the finances and operations of our state parks system have become over the last couple of years. Deep cuts in money and manpower, coupled with repeatedly deferred maintenance, have taken an awful toll. Ash says flatly that our parks system is in jeopardy.
An alliance like this is obviously a blessing and a source of badly needed optimism. But in no way is it the definitive answer. The amount of money that would have to be raised year after year can't depend on the largesse of big donors, or on donations through a mass appeal.
Our parks need a dedicated revenue fund, or at least that is the view of Ash and OSI director Joe Martens. The alliance will advocate for creation of such a fund.
I am assured that the details and limits of a dedicated fund are a work in progress. Because there are obvious warning flags to consider, and pitfalls abound.
A dedicated fund for parks would be administered by a state agency, no matter how many locks you put on the box. So some governor can come along and raid it anyway. History has shown that already, by repeated raids on the Environmental Protection Fund.
State legislation would be needed to create the fund, which means politics comes into play. Who knows where that takes us?
I wonder how other environmental groups will feel about a competitor for the EPF? And what will the fund actually pay for? Will it be limited to operations and maintenance of existing state parks, or can it be used to hire more personnel, or buy more land for parks?
At the moment, the alliance is looking at two models as the revenue source for a dedicated fund.
The Montana model puts a small surcharge on motor vehicle registrations. The Washington, D.C. model charges a nickle surcharge for those using plastic shopping bags. I can hear the yelps already from overtaxed vehicle owners. Shoppers, maybe less so.
Anyway, that's still to be worked out. It's a fabulous idea, comes just at the right time, and Andrew seems to like it.
Keep in mind, we have to do something, or its gut-wrenching time all over again with our parks.
Contact Fred LeBrun at 454-5453 or by e-mail at flebrun@timesunion.com.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Toot for the Victoria-pool-mobile.

Trees being planted again in Avenue of the Pine at Saratoga Spa State Park. Truly, a sight for eyes sore from watching them being cut down.

Program to add to Saratoga Spa State Park’s pines
Published: Thursday, November 11, 2010


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More white pine trees will be planted along Avenue of the Pines in Saratoga Spa State Park thanks to a partnership between New York State Parks and Odwalla’s Plant a Tree program. (Photo provided)
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Saratoga Spa State Park has teamed up with Odwalla, via the 2010 Plant a Tree program, to replenish white pine trees along Avenue of the Pines at the National Historic Landmark park.The park obtained more than two dozen trees through Odwalla’s Plant a Tree program.“We need to periodically plant young trees if we are to sustain the towering column of pines as the iconic entrance to the park,” said Alane Ball Chinian, regional director for New York State Parks Saratoga-Capital Region. “With Odwalla’s Plant a Tree program, this successful partnership has generously provided more than two-dozen six-foot white pines to fill in the spots along the avenue where mature trees have died and been removed.”The collaboration between Odwalla and New York State Parks is in its third year and has included the web-based Plant a Tree program and a supply of Odwalla food bars for use at select park events and activities throughout several park regions in the state.The national web-based promotion encouraged visitors to go to the Odwalla.com site to choose which of the 50 state park systems they would like to see trees planted in. In New York, the resulting earmarked funds were committed for tree purchases in the Saratoga-Capital region.Avenue of the Pines was originally constructed as a mile-long pedestrian path surrounded by four rows of white pines, and it is historically known as the Pine Promenade. In 1929, when the current Lincoln Bathhouse was built, other improvements were undertaken in the parks. The Pine Promenade was enlarged and paved and opened as a parkway for automobiles. By this time, the pines planted years before had grown high, and the parkway was appropriately renamed Avenue of the Pines.
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